Here, you can find pictures, movie trivia, and everything there is to know about Pandora and all of it's inhabitants.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Dire Horse

Common Name: Direhorse

Na'vi Name: Pa'li

Taxonomy: Equidirus hoplites or “feared armored horse”

Habitat: Rainforests and grasslands, but adaptable to most Pandoran environments. A grazing  animal that has been domesticated by the Na’vi as a riding animal.

Anatomy: Horse-like creature with six legs, tough skin with no fur, long necks and small head, bold stripes, flexible carbon fiber armor over shoulders and along the back of the neck and head.

Feeding Ecology: Land omnivore that uses long snout to feed on sap. some protein intake through insects trapped in sap. Favored food is direhorse pitcher plant. Effective pollinator.

Size: Over 4.25 meters long, up to four meters in height

Notes: Animal has neural interface that allows Na'vi and direhorse to move together with apparent effortlessness. A highly intelligent, calm creature that, like the Na'vi, can turn fierce in the face of battle.


The Direhorse is a large hexepodal (six limbed) grazing herbivore that shares characteristics of both Terran equine and ruminant animals. They eat vegetation almost exclusively, and possess a complex system of three stomachs, each specializing in the break down of specific types of biomass. Their six legs each end in a powerfully built hoof reinforced with a natural fiber weave much like the animal's skeleton. The reinforcement nearly eliminates the chances of a hoof cracking and splitting.

To fuel the muscles of their six powerful legs, the direhorse's lungs are fed directly by two rows of breathing valves located on the front of the chest, eliminating the rebreathing of air present in a windpipe when routed through the throat and mouth. The multiple valves also drastically increase the volume of air available, giving the animal impressive speed and endurance. The only drawback of this system is a direhorse cannot traverse water any deeper than its legs, as it will drown.

The direhorse has two prehensile neural interfaces that emerge from either side of the animal's skull. These appendages have feathery tips loaded with neurons and remain in constant motion as the animal explores its surroundings. In addition to their function as a link between herd members and their Na'vi riders, the interfaces also seem to possess a sensory function, much like the antennae of Terran insects. Xenobiologists believe that the touch of interfaces is for pleasure and affection, but also a means of transferring information about food sources and potential dangers; herds often move in unison shortly after touching antennae.

The animals are easily startled and can reach ninety-five kilometers per hour. The direhorse is larger by a third than the largest Terran draft horses such as the Clydesdale or the Percheron, and substantially larger than the biggest horse ever recorded on Earth. The Na'vi are excellent riders and the direhorse is a swift, nimble mount that is well-adapted to the rugged Pandoran terrain.

The Direhorse is a land herbivore found throughout most of Pandora's different environs. It is believed that it originated from the grassland regions, where herds of a few dozen to a few hundred animals range over territories of five hundred square kilometers or more. The direhorse's introduction to the planet's tropical regions probably coincided with its domesticated by the Na'vi.

On the plains, an adult direhorse had few natural predators that would risk challenging a herd. However in the jungle, the Thanator and Great Leonopteryx have both been observed isolating lost individuals and bringing them down with relative ease. Even a pack of Viperwolves have a fair chance to predate an adult direhorse cut off from the rest of the herd.

It grazes using its long snout and dexterous giraffe-like tongue, to feed on a wide variety of Pandoran flora, including grasses, ferns, and low lying leaves. In rain-forest environments, direhorses seek out beds of flowers for a quick caloric boost of sweet nectar, making the direhorse an important pollinator.

Many direhorses are tamed to aid their riders in the hunt and in battle. To bond with (or, in human terms, to “break”) a direhorse, a Na'vi must mount the animal and connect their neural queue to the animal's antennae (or neural whip). Once queue and antenna touch, the feathery tendrils automatically intertwine, almost as if possessed of free will. Although the exact motive force remains unknown, it is believed that the antennae may secrete a pheromone that evokes the unique intertwining.

Once intertwined, the Na'vi rider can communicate motor commands instantly through the neural interface. The apparent lack of effort makes it seem as if the direhorse is an extension of the rider's own body. This frees up the Na'vi to use a bow and arrow during a hunt or battle.

Unlike the Mountain Banshee, however, the neural link made between rider and direhorse does not lead to a life-long, exclusive bond between Na'vi and animal; although Na'vi have their favorite mounts, it is possible and permissible to ride another clan member's direhorse. The direhorse is a perfect mount to ride in the obstacle-strewn close quarters of a Pandoran forest; direhorses have excellent reaction times and can leap large distances.

Direhorses are the perfect war-fareing mount for the Na'vi, and played a crucial part in the showdown between Na'vis and humans. Direhorses are an important part of many Clans, such as the Horse Clan of the Plains (known as the Omatipa'li).

more after the Jump...

Hammerhead Titanothere

Common Name: Hammerhead Titanothere

Na'vi Name: Angtsìk

Taxonomy: Rhinoquadruculus hammercephali or “four-eyed rhinoceros”

Habitat: Prefers open grasslands, but frequent visitor to rainforest

Anatomy: Massive, low-slung head with boney projections on either side of the skull similar to Terran hammerhead shark. Soft ungulate mouth is protected by a rigid, beak-like jaw structure.

Feeding Ecology: Land herbivore. Main food sources are grass and shrubs, but also eats various fruits and leaves of the rainforest.

Size: Can be six meters in height, twelve meters long

Notes: A plant eater, but potentially deadly. Almost twice the size of an African elephant, but much faster.

This massive, grazing creature travels in small herds or packs. It is moderately social, but also extremely territorial and hierarchical. Constant threat displays, both visible and audible, are a large part of the titanothere's day. When angered (which happens easily and often), a titanothere will raise a semicircle of colorful skin flaps on it's cranium and begin vocalizing a challenge, which sounds similar to an elephant (it is hypothesized that there may be air channels inside the hammerheads that act as resonance chambers, although no dissection of an adult has been attempted as of yet). If this fails, the animal will lower its head and charge at the perceived threat. The sheer momentum and ferocity of this display is usually enough to send any Pandoran creature running for cover, even viperwolf packs and wild mountain banshees. Once early in the human presence on Pandora, a confused Titanothere stumbled into a R.D.A. mining pit. Before it could be scared off, it had managed to disable two utility AMP suits and one ore hauling truck by punching a refrigerator sized hole in the vehicle's radiator. This incident had been part of the justification for the building of a perimeter fence and the militarization of the security force.

The imposing hammerhead structure is formed of cartilage rather than bone in the juvenile animal. It can bend to allow the animal to pass through restricted spaces which an inexperienced young hammerhead might enter. As it matures, the structure ossifies, and becomes solid bone. Fighting males will attempt to injure their opponents' legs and joints with the knobs at the ends of their hammers. Due to the heavily reinforced nature of the animal's bones, these fights seldom end with permanent injuries, although it is not unusual to see mature males limping on one or more legs in the weeks surrounding musk. The titanothere is highly territorial. Alpha males use their considerable momentum to spread their scent by smashing trees, thus warning other animals (including titanothere bulls) to steer clear. A large herd of Hammerhead Titanotheres can potentially destroy small forests.

The titanothere has poor distance vision, but makes up for this with acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell. Although massive, its six limbs allow it to pivot rapidly when it detects a threat from the side or rear. The animal's overlapping body plates and large, bony shoulder and back offer protection during battles with other titanothere or large creatures such as the leonopteryx or thanator.

In addition to the titanothere's impressive individual defenses, they also exhibit strong herd coordination. When threatened, a herd will form a defensive line or circle, hammerheads forward and the juveniles and elderly members behind. If the interloper doesn't get the message, the entire line of adults may charge forward. The only way to ensure survival from a charging herd of titanothere is to run faster than them.

For all its size, speed, and power, the hammerhead titanothere is not particularly bright. During mating season, males have been observed challenging prolemuris, fallen trees, even rock formations. They are almost entirely driven by instinct and have resisted all attempts at domestication. Only very rarely has a Na'vi gotten close enough for long enough to attempt a bond with a titanothere, and the experiment has never been successful. The animal generally reacts with panic and smashes the nearest tree, dislodging the intruder who is lucky to get away intact.


Na'vi name: Kali'weya

Taxonomy: Scorpiosista virosae, or "poisonous scorpion"

Habitat: Rainforest vegetation. Range includes thin band of latitude in rain forest regions of Australis. Other species of arachnoids have been foundin almost every region of Pandora, but are apparently absent from areas of intense vulcanism.

Anatomy: Extended thorax, six two-jointed legs (three on either side of thorax). Similar to Terran scorpion and other arachnids. Tail ends in twin stinger that delivers neurotoxin to prey.

Feeding Ecology: Usual food source is small insects, but will prey upon small rodents and birds if the opportunity arises.

Size: up to 18 inches long.

There are hundreds of arachnid-like species found on Pandora (based on research to date). Only a few of the known species produce a psychoactive venom. Of these, only one, the Kali'weya is used in the Uniltaron, or "Dream Hunt" ceremony. As part of the ritual, a prospective warrior must capture his or her own arachnoid, which is kept in a stone jar built specificaly for the task. During the ceremony, the creature is made to sting the warrior in order to induce dreamlike hallucinations that are believed by the Na'vi to foretell the warrior's destiny and reveal his or her spirit animal.

The male arachnoid features dark purple and black markings. Those with dark purple and red are female. Arachnoids are slightly bioluminscent, with two lateral lines of bioluminescence on their abdomen. Despirt their fearsome appearance, the arachnoid is a shy creature that would rather flee than fight. Arachnoids have been known to take up residence in Na'vi baskets or, on a rare occasion, in the intricate weaving of a hammock.

To strike effectively, the arachnoid must raise its thorax, which causes the venom sac to empty into the stinger canals. During the Dream Hunt ritual, Na'vi elders evoke a sting by placing the arachnoid against the sking of the prospective warrior. If left untreated, the sting is usually fatal for a Na'vi child or elder. It has also caused the death of Na'vi warriors during Uniltaron, although this is a rare occurrence. The pain it creates is excruciating, in any case.

The Na'vi have developed an effective antivenom using the roots of the octoshroom, a detoxifying Pandoran plant that appears to negate the effects of the venom's alkaloids. (The tests are ongoing for potential Earth uses for the antivenom). Many Pandoran creatures have developed an immunity to the venom, and can eat the animal with no ill effects. This helps explain the timid nature of the fierce arachnoid.

Glow Worms

Common Name: Glow Worm

Na'vi Name: Eltungawng or "brainworm"

Taxonomy: Arachnolumera nitidae, or "shining glow worm"

Habitat: Decayed rainforest flora

Anatomy: Cylindrical bioluminescent invertabrate. No appendages

This worm contains a psychoactive alkaloid that when used in conjunction with the venom of the arachnoid, can induce hallucinations. The Na'vi use worms from specific a willow-like tree (Tree of Voices) for the rite of Uniltaron. They believe that worms from this "sacred' tree can impart vital information to the prospective warrior.


Common Name: Thanator

Na'vi Name: Palulukan or “Dry Mouth Bringer of Fear”

Taxonomy: Bestiapanthera ferox or “fierce panther beast”
                    Thanatora ferox

Habitat: Rainforest floor. Similar species have been observed in subarctic regions.

Anatomy: Armored head and massive distensible armored jaw. Teeth are twenty-three centimeters long. Burnished black skin banded with stripes of yellow and scarlet. Ten external sensory quills. Upper lips fold back for maximum tooth extension. Armored chitinous plating over dorsal

Feeding Ecology: Apex land predator, omnivore with preference for nocturnal hunting

Size: Reaches more than 5.5. meters long, up to 2.5 meters tall

Notes: The most fearsome of all Pandoran land predators. Wide, armored tail can slam prey or defend against other thanators. Cartilaginous plates around its neck that can flare, possibly as a threat display but more likely as an echolocation or other sensory pinpointing system. Given its anatomy, it is likely that thanator is evolutionary relative to the viperwolf. In the Avatar movie Neytiri manages to bond with a Thanator, showing that Thanators can bond with the Na'vi and Avatars.

Although many regions of the moon have yet to be explored, xenobiologists currently believe that the thanator may be the apex land predator on Pandora. Reminiscent of a Terran panther, this enormous, powerful animal is unique in its ability to lord over its territory and strike fear into the largest and fiercest of Pandora's creatures. Even the Na'vi, who are renowned for their courage, are shaken by the approach of the creature; it is not celebrated in dance or song.

Its musculature is pronounced and impressive, providing power for protracted runs and leaps. The speed of its neck and jaw strike is as swift as a camera shutter. In addition to conventional ripping and tearing, the thanator can also deliver a lethal blow from its armored tail. Not even the roots of a great Pandoran tree can protect a thanator's prey from it's razor sharp claws. In addition the thanator's senses are so highly developed that, depending on atmospheric conditions, it can detect prey up to thirteen kilometers away.

The thanator appears to hunt alone and normally does not stray outside of its territory, which is believed to be roughly 300 square kilometers. It appears to hunt mainly at night, although seems to make an exception if hungry enough.

Surprisingly, the thanator has ten sensory quills, two each sprouting from armor plating that encircles the rear of the skull. The function of the quills is poorly understood, but it has been hypothesized that they may be tied to an internal mechanism of prey location.

This magnificent creature's black leathery skin also boasts several skin flaps on the rear of the head and surrounding the mouth. Xenobiologists have deduced that these flaps are a type of warning to intimidate the thanator's prey. Upon seeing it's prey, or any sizable creature, the facial folds proceed to flesh out. This activity much resembles the territorial display of a terran snake or a peacock's presentation of its feathers during mating season. Although such an event has never been witnessed, it is hypothesized that these flaps may also be used by the thanator to impress its mate. Although the thanator's violent nature makes it very hard to study, it continues to be one of Pandora's most impressing features.

The amount of pressure produced by the Thanator's jaw muscles is exceedingly powerful. Its jaws are able to crush through the very strong bones and armor of the creatures on Pandora. Although scientists haven't measured the exact PSI of the Thanator's bite, they do know that the force is much greater than ANYTHING found here on earth.

   * Its name Thanator likely comes from the Greek word θάνατος thánatos meaning "death" and the Latin suffix -tor, as in victor or doctor.

    * In the Avatar Game for the iPod/iPhone, one Na'vi has a baby Thanator as a pet. So it is possible the Na'vi could domesticate Thanators at an early age.

    * Their home is the Valley of the Thanators.

    * Originally known as a Manticore in the project 880 script, also it had a large scorpion like tail.

    * The roar used for the Thanator in the film is the same one previously used in the film Jurassic Park for the T-Rex.

    * The original scriptment by James Cameron mentions that the Thanator could beat a T-rex easily (and have the alien queen for breakfast)


Common Name: Viperwolf

Na'vi Name: Nantang

Taxonomy: Caniferratus costatus or “striped armored wolf.”

Habitat: Rainforest, savanna, subarctic.

Anatomy: Six legs. Mostly black but banded with vermilion and iridescent blue. Burnished, hairless skin. Low slung head with chitinous armor around neck. Amphipod plating on the back of the neck and spine. Bioluminescence for pack identification. Distensible, snake-like jaw with obsidian-like teeth. Paddle-like tail used for stability. Leathery paws have opposable thumbs. Shows characteristics of canid on evolutionary path to simian.

Feeding Ecology: Mostly nocturnal carnivore, highly strategic pack hunter with territories ranging over 480 sq. kilometers. Unique coyote-like yelps and snake-like hissing thought to convey hunting information.

Size:More than 1.5 meters long, 70 centimeters tall.

Notes: Humanlike grip allows them to hunt in rainforest canopy as well as on ground. It is revered by the Na'vi for its fierce intelligence, strong familial bond and devotion to its pack.

With six legs and a lean, powerful torso, the viperwolf has evolved to travel swiftly over long distances in search of prey. The ratio of brain mass to body weight of the average adult viperwolf indicates a high order of mental processing, pattern recognition and communication skills.

Their keen, intelligent green eyes can see as clearly at night as in the day. Their long distance vision is only moderate, but their depth perception is superb. Their sense of smell is second to only the thanator (based on the few creatures who have been measured to date). It is believed that a viperwolf can sense prey from more than eight kilometers away.

Very few predators (the mountain banshee among them) will attempt an attack on a viperwolf, who nearly always moves in a pack that can mass into a highly cooperative hunting party within seconds. The pack appears to communicate information about the potential prey or predator with facial tics, paw gestures and audio cues.

The viperwolf hunts in small groups, communicating with short coyote-like barks and yelps. Its primate-like paws (which include opposable thumbs) allow it to climb trees as well as stalk from the ground, thereby creating a three- dimensional hunting field. When stalking prey, the viperwolf is able to reduce its profile by hugging the ground or clinging to tree limbs. Thus hidden, a viperwolf can often approach within a few meters of unsuspecting prey, and then attack with frightening efficiency. (One xenobiologist describes this graceful, ominous movement as “liquid darkness.”)There are several different varieties of Viperwolves, that can do different things from healing themselves with special enzymes, to creating a small electrical charge to stun prey.

Only months after birth, a viperwolf cub is required to hunt on its own. However, the cubs mature swiftly and grow to half the adult size by their sixth month. By then, they also have a full set of teeth and their jaw muscles are almost mature; a viperwolf's jaws can exert four kilograms of pressure per square centimeter, easily enough to crush bone, or even stone.

Great Leonopteryx

Common Name: Leonopteryx

Na'vi Name: Toruk, or "last shadow"

Taxonomy: Leonopteryx rex, or "flying king lion"

Habitat: Mountain aeries and skies about the Pandoran rainforest

Anatomy: Closely related to the banshee, although significantly larger. Striped scarlet, yellow, and black, with a midnight blue head. Sharp crest on head can be used to injure or disembowel prey, or cut vegetation obstructing flight. Distensible jaw, large brain cavity. Membranous wings are stretched taut over carbon fiber bone structure. Powerful talons for grasping prey and perching. Twin tail for flight control. Flow-through ventilation for high-performance.

Feeding Ecology: Apex aerial predator. Carnivore. Main food sources is forest and mountain banshees, occassion medusa. Can also feed under the rainforest canopy on ground animals such as hexapede. no known threat from other creatures. Solo hunter.

Size: wingspan is more than 25 meters

The fierce beauty and nobility of the leonopteryx give it a central place in the Na'vi lore and culture. It is celebrate in dance, song, and with elaborate totems that symbolize both the fear and respect accorded to the creature. Indedd, the leonopteryx is crucial to the Na'vis sense of destiny and interconnectedness.

The few humans lucky enough to have survived seeing this creature have also marveled at its iridescent grace and command of the Pandoran skies.

The leonopteryx shares the basic body plan of the forest and mountain banshees: grasping claws, long teeth for snatching prey on the fly, flexible wings for maneuverability, excellent eyesight with forward binocular vision, and high intelligence. Despite their superior vision, they are unable to see directly above them, possibly due to the head crest which covers the top of their eyes, or the fact they have no need to. Its powerful jaws, which can open to a wide angle, are efficient enough to cleave a mountain banshee in midflight. The leonopteryx also has an impressive rate of climb and, when it plummets out of the sky, resembles a massive terran hawk.

The wings of the leonopteryx are compsed of individual finned members that can separate to act as a slotted airfoil, or overlap and seal to form a solid surface. When, separated, they can rotate individually to induce or retard vortex formation. These finned members are not unlike the primary feathers of a terran bird. As with many Pandoran creatures, their feiber composite bones help the massice animal achieve flight through the dense Pandoran atmosphere.

Leonopteryx rookeries are difficult to locate, although some have been sited in the Hallelujah Mountains. This species mates for life and breeds only once every two years. They travel singly or in pairs and have never been observed to swarm. They are normally wary of others of their kind, and rightly so; an aerial battle between two leonopteryx that lasted over three hours was observed by a team of avatars. The battle ended when both great beasts fell to the ground, mortally wounded. Based on the distinct yelps, the avatars believed that the wounded leonopteryx were dispatched by a large pack of viperwolves.

* the Na'vi name derives from the belief that if the leonopteryx casts its shadow, it will be the last shadow you will ever see. Has been known to attack human aircraft, probably in the belief that they are competing predators infringing on territory.

 The "Toruk Makto"

In the Na'vi culture, those who manage tsahaylu with the Great Leonopteryx are given the title Toruk Makto. This means "rider of the last shadow". During the time frame of the film, no Na'vi has been successful for four generations and only five have ever managed to do it. Jake Sully becomes the sixth person to master the skill, re-earning him the respect and trust of the Omaticaya Clan who previously held him a traitor. Speaking of his attempt to bond with the Great Leonopteryx, Jake said "The way I had it figured, Toruk is the baddest cat in the sky. Nothing attacks him, so why would he ever look up?" After the final battle against the RDA, Jake releases the Toruk back into the wild, reasoning "Toruk Makto was no longer needed" as the time of "great sorrow" (the RDA's invasion of the planet) had passed.

Toruk Makto is to the Na'vi a mythical hero who, during times of great sorrow, leads the people to victory. Neytiri says that "everyone knows the story" of Toruk Makto, which would explain why the tribe was instantly reverant to him when he returned as Toruk Makto.

There have only been five Toruk Maktos, until Jake Sully became one, leading the Na'vi against the RDA. The previous Toruk Makto was Neytiri's great-great-grandfather, who had used the great respect given to such riders to unite the Na'vi tribes five generations before. Jake follows in his footsteps to unite the Na'vi against the Human invaders. The previous Toruk Makto united all the Na'vi clans in a time of great sorrow, as Jake did. Toruk Makto means "Rider of the Last Shadow".


Common Name: Tetrapteron

Na'vi Name: Sheeray

Habitat: wetlands, lakes, rivers, and canopy. Larger in numbers in land-locked water bodies, but also found near oceans and rainforest.

Anatomy: Two pairs of wings, twin tail. Large beak and gullet with glassy teeth.

Feeding Ecology: Aerial predator, fish-eating

Size: wingspan of nearly 1.5 meters

Notes: tracked in continuous flight for nearly 38 hours.

The tetrapteron is a class of flamingo-like bird that looks almost Earth-like until one notices its four wings, with two on either side. The birds also feature a unique twin tail used for balancing their body weight as they hunt on land. 

There are two types of tetrapteron - aquatic, and arboreal. Although similar in appearance, the aquatic birds have longer necks and legs for life  in the wetlands.

The tetrapteron have excellent long-distance vision, and can detect movements as little as 1.25 centimeters from a height of 45 meters. They usually hunt in flocks.

Of all the creatures on Pandora, these seem the most cooperative, both on the hunt and when socializing. While many predators on Pandora nurture their young, none take more care of their offspring with as much attention and duration as the tetrapteron.


Common Name: Dinicthoid

Na'vi Name: unknown

Habitat: Pandoran lakes and murky land drainages

Taxonomy: Gargoylia macropisceae,  or "giant gargoyle fish"

Anatomy: Semitransparent body revealing spinal column and inner organs. Heavily armored with triangular, blade-like teeth.

Feeding Ecology: Voracious predator. Because of fierceness and thick armor comprised of cartilage, it can feed on both smaller and larger fish. Can also feed on plant life, including fallen seeds and pods.

Size: Up to 1 meter in length

When hunting at night, the dinicthoid can pulse with bioluminscence to take on the appearance of a smaller, more docile creature to lure prey closer. Conversely, it can control its markings to appear even larger and fiercer.

Its head features two large, protruding red eyes that can see for long distances underwater in dim light. It also features a disconcertingly humanoid false face (used to befuddle or frighten would-be predators) that is created by folds at the top of the skull.

When stimulated by prey or predators, it can reach high speeds by gyrating its flexible sides, much like a manta ray. It also has two flipper fins extruding from either side just beyond the head that are used for propulsion and steering.

Scientists continue to marvel at the ferocity of the fish. Pandoran biologists recently watched as an unlucky young sturmbeest waded into a small pond to drink, only to be dragged beneath the surface by a school of ambitious dinicthy.

Fan Lizard

Common Name: Fan Lizard

Taxonomy: Fanisaurus pennatus, or "winged fan lizard"

Habitat: rainforest, with a preference for large ferns

Anatomy: spinelike structure that unfurls into a magenta and purple bioluminescent membrane

Feeding Ecology: nocturnal land omnivore that feeds on tree sap and small insects. Often feeds in swarms.

Size: 45 centimeters long in folded position, roughly 1 meter across when unfurled.

At first glance, this unique lizard appears to be little more than a dull, ruler-length reptile with few apparent virtues. When agitated, however, it unfurls like an antique Chinese fan and spins away to safety. In an instant, it morphs from pitiful to beautiful and then, just as rapidly, is once again a rather common-looking lizard.

Understandably, the fan lizard is a favorite among young Na'vi who cherish this natural spectacle. At every opportunity, a na'vi child will run through a field of ferns to disturb a group of resting fan lizards, and then marvel as the luminous magenta and purple discs float to safety of a nearby branch. In the Pandoran twilight, this shimmering flight is strangely alien even to the Na'vi.

An ancient dance (usually performed by children) celebrates the lizard. Two dancers stand side-by-side to create a rigid "spine." Another group of children run by and taunt the pair, at which point the entwined dancers "unfurl" into a circular shape and "float" in a zig-zag pattern through the other dancers. This dance is usually accompanied by hufwe, or wind instruments.

Hellfire Wasp

Common Name: Hellfire Wasp

Taxonomy: Magnivespa velow, or "fast large wasp"

Anatomy: Hard exoskeleton, compound eyes, bioluminescece, dual stinger

Feeding Ecology: Most adults feed on sap, fruit, and carrion, and provide paralyzed insects for their young.
Size: wingspan of 13 centimeters

The Hellfire wasp is shaped much like a typical Earth wasp, but is similar in size to a sparrow. Although usually observed flying alone, swarms nearly the size of a robodozer have been sighted.

It has an accurate organic targeting system that uses an olfactoy organ to detect the biochemistry of any nearby creature. If it senses danger, its flight becomes agitated and erratic and it will usually attack.

Although humans have not yet been killed by a hellfire wasp, it is common for RDA personnel to be placed on medical leave for several days because of the sting. It is believed, however, that a swarm of the wasps will eventually cause a fatality.

*bioluminscence makes them highly visible at night, but they are still fast enough to strike even with advanced warning. Sting is excruciating, but rarely lethal to humans or Na'vi unless attacked by a swarm.


Common Name: Hexapede

Na'vi Name: Yerik

Taxonomy: Sexcruscervus caerulus, or "blue six-legged deer"

Anatomy: Small, sloped skull is topped by a light colored fan structure. Eyes are wide spaced and large. Longish snout that ends in a small bifurcating jaw. Bifurcated lip that can be retracted. Twin horn structures that sheathe a thin, patterned membrane. Skin membrane "beard" hangs under jaw and runs length of neck. Long, thin neck and legs ending in round, beveled hooves. Body is dark blue with white-yellow stipes.

Feeding Ecology: Land herbivore

Size: Up to 1.5 meters long, 2 meters in height

One of the most beautiful and fragile creatures on Pandora, the hexapede is a prime target for any land or aerial predator. The rapid pace of their breeding is the only strategy that keeps them from being culled out of the Pandoran ecology.

And with the sturmbeest, the hexapede is one of the key animals responcible for the survival of the Na'vi. It's image is represented on the war banners of several clans, and the animal is often depicted on shields and in carvings. It's leather is used in a myriad of ways, from musical instruments to clothing.

These docile creatures appear to have little hostility either among their own herd or in the presence of a predator. They are only moderatley fast runners, although they can weave, bob, and turn with the best prey. The latter helps them survive in the grasslands, but when they venture into the forest for the food they crave (including tree bark and various leaves and berries) this strategy has less effectiveness, since they have less maneuvering room.

The hexapede's twin horn structures sheathe a thin, patterned membrane. The horns can pivot and pull taut the membrane for a large threat display. It is believed that this membrane may also act to amplify sound of nearby predators. In addition, the hexapede also has feathery scent organs on both sides of its head. Thes organs sample the air as an early warning system to alert the animal to the presence of a predator.

*by traditon, this is the first animal that a prospective warrior is allowed to kill when making the rite of passage from child to adult.


Common Name: Medusa

Na'vi Name: Lonataya or Fpxafaw

Taxonomy: Aerocnidaria aerae, or "aerial jellyfish"

Habitat: Sky above mountainous regions of Pandora

Anatomy: Clear membranous sac with attached tentacles

Feeding Ecology: Aerial carnivore that feeds on small, rodentlike animals on forest floor, and occasionally, on creatures as large as a hexapede, Slinger, or even humanoid. Can also pluck prolemuris and roosting tetrapterons from forest canopy.

Size: Bell is up to 15 meters in diameter. Tentacles can reach more than 35 meters.

Drifting over the mountaintops of Pandora, these deadly and beautiful creatures look like the alien offspring of a Portugese man-of-war and a adblimp. During mating season, regions of the southern continent of Australis are blackened by the shadow of the medusa swarm as it swirls in a dance of interlocking tentacles.

The medusa's clear membranous sac, or "bell" is filled with hydrogen gas produced by the digestijon of its prey. This gas allows the medusa to float above the canopy in search of potential victims.

Their transluscent tentacles, which create a kind of curtain sweeping across the terrain, make a faint swishing sound that causes animals to scurry. The tentacles, which are three to eight centimeters in diameter, are replete with sensors that react instantly to the touch of an animal by curling into a viselike grip. The tentacles are also lined with electrocytes that can channel a current from an organ in the bel that produces electricty. The shock can be strong enough to stun a banshee or kill a full-grown human. Once in the grip of the tough, leathery appendages, it is unlikely that any creature will survive. The tentacles then lift the prey to the medusa's pulpy mouth.

As a defense mechanism, the bell can pulse (much like an octopus) to give some directional control. It expels gas to descend and uses fluids from trim bladders to rise. For the most part, howerver, the creature is content to drift on the winds and hunt opportunistically.

Their eyes (or more accurately, their optical sensors)  are in a fleshy belt around the bottom of the bell. They provide the animal with an 360 degree view of the terrain beneath them. To look up, they must use extraordinary effort to reorient themselves.

Given their limted movitlity, they could become easy prey for other aerial predators such as stingbats and banshees. But the medusa has little edible flesh. In addition, the unpleassant and potentially dangerous release of hydrogen gas is a natural deterrant to any predator. When the bell is punctured by tooth or claw the medusa has been observed flying in erratic circles like a puntured balloon, confusing or startling the predator. For these reasons, they are rarely attacked. Its only consistent enemy is the great leonopteryx, which, if deprived of food, will on occasion attack and eat the foul-tasting medusa.

*Aerial battle between Ikran and Lonataya is considered to be one of the great natural spectacles on Pandora.


Common Name: Prolemuris

Taxonomy: Prolemuris noctis, or "night squirrel"

Habitat: Rainforest canopy

Anatomy: Large, binocular-like eyes, apelike skull with fleshy snout. Small nostrils and jaw. Teeth are needle-sharp. Membranous wing flaps. Split top lip.

Feeding Ecology: Arboreal herbivore. Teeth adapted to cut through tensile strength of Pandoran flora. Known to eat insects on occasion. Predators include Banshees & Viperwolves.

Size: Can reach up to 1 meter in height.

This chattering, unagressive tree dweller prefers the relative safety of the canopy to the dangers of the rainforest floor. The prolemuris has lateral membranes that grow out of its sides and between its lower arm and thigh. When it leaps from tree to tree, the wind catches in the flaps and slows the anima'ls rate of fall. This allows the animal to fall for more than twelve meters without risk of injury. They have hollow bones, and the density of their musculature and flesh is also porous, which makes them much lighter than they appear (even the largest weigh less than six kilograms).

The prolemuris can use its four arms to move through the trees faster than an average man can run. It has near-perfect balance and its superb depth perception allows it to leap from branch to branch while selecting just the right handhold out of the forest mosaic (in this is resembles the Na'vi, who can also move through the rainforest canopy with tremendous agility).

Its ears are long, drooping flaps that can move independently of one another in order to track sounds in precise stereo field. Its toes are webbed and have a vestigal thumb nub that helps the animal cling to branches. It has two arms that bifurcate into four forearms; the upper bones of the arms have fused, enabling mobility as they navigate through the trees. (Biologists believe that this may be an evolutionary precursor to the two-armed Na'vi). One digit is a four-jointed finger topped with a humanlike fingernail. The other is a two-jointed thumb that is adapted for clapsing tree limbs and vines.

They dwell in the trees in large tribal groups, and although there are some violent intertribal contests to establish hierarchy, there is little battle between tribes. They are highly social, although they do not care for their young as avidly or carefully as Terran chimpanzees. Still, the prolemuris is a diligent and effective breeder, with the female achieving reproductive readiness three times a year.

The mating habits of the prolemuris are similar to some species of Terran apes, including the now extinct-gorilla, hamadryas baboon, and howler monkey (along with several human cultures as well). An alpha male prolemuris wil mate with several females concurrently and assist with the rearing of of each offspring. But this polygynous  arrangement  is by no means an indication of male dominance; it is believed that prolemuris social structure is largely matriarchal, with the female clearly in charge of the mate selection process.

*Offal of the prolemuris is considered a delicacy amoung some Na'vi clans and is used in food wraps.


Common Name: Slinger

Na'vi Name: Lenay'ga

Taxonomy: Acediacutus xenoterribili or "strange terrible sloth"

Habitat: Rainforest

Anatomy: Muscular neck, triangular detachable head with stinger and neurotoxic venom glands.

Feeding Ecology: Land predator, carnivore. Hexapede is a staple food.

Size: 2.4 meters in height

This slothlike animal is one of the oddest and most dangerous creatures yet discovered on Pandora. When hunting, this creature moves slowly and silently through the forest ferns. When it senses prey, its muscular neck cocks back into striking position, then snaps forward. It's long, pointed, and winged head detaches and flies towards the prey as a self-guiding venomous projectile. After the head embeds itself into its target (often a hexapede), the dart emits a series of high-pitched squeals. The signals allow the body (now sightless) to home in, locate, and move toward the detachable part. Still separaated, the strange partners enjoy their prey. Sated, the neck bends down and a mesh of hairlike tendrils rejoins head with body.

As if this were not compelling enough, biologists were stunned to discover that the body and its datlike head are not a single creature with a singular method of hunting. Instead, the dart is actually the offspring of the body and will stay in a symbiotic relationship with its parent until it is too big to fly. It then mates, detaches from the mother-body and metamorphoses into a smaller, complete slinger with its own offspring dart-head. Left behind without its dart offspring, the mother-body is unable to feed itself and dies. In this odd cycle of renewal, each generation becomes the brain for the previous generation.

This would all be academically intriguing were it not for the fact that slingers have proven deadly to human colonists. Several have died - badly - after being struck by a stinger dart. Na'vi hunters have been know to retrieve  a dart that has been orphaned from its mother-body to use later as an effective weapon.

*Na'vi's rub on sap from a leaf that replicates the smell of a slinger to ward off attacks by viperwolves.


Common Name: Stingbat

Na'vi Name: Riti

Taxonomy: Scorpiobattus volansil, or "flying scorpion bat"

Habitat: Rainforest canopy

Anatomy: Translucent fangs and claws, bioluminescence on periphary of wing membrane and torso. Scorpion-like tail stinger. Small brain cavity. Four eyes.

Feeding Ecology: Nocturnal aerial predator, omnivore. Feeds mostly from canopy on rodent-sized creatures, lizards and fruit. Usually solo feeders, but will swarm against larger prey such as small hexapede.

Size: wingspan of 1.2 meters

This foul-tempered aerial predator has a highly developed visual navigation system. Yet despite this organic "intelligence," their small brain cavity and cerebral cortex inhibits their innate suvival mechanisms. Despite a constant slaughter, the creatures continue to fly into the range of automated sentry guns that defend the Hell's Gate compound.

Their diminished cerebral capacity makes them common prey for larger predators such as banshees. But their prodigious mating habits ensure a steady population.

*Treated almost like pets by some Na'vi despite their lethal spines. Can be summoned by Na'vi with clicking sound between tongue and teeth to alight on arm or shoulders and eat fruit from Na'vi hands.


Common Name: Sturmbeest

Na'vi Name: Talioang

Taxonomy: Bovindicum monocerii, or "horned blue cow"

Habitat: Migratory animal that dwells in wetlands and river deltas.

Anatomy: Massice buffalo-like herd beast with six legs and indigo and orange coloring. Its skull features a single large bony hornlike  extrusion above the eyes. Extrusions are reddish or orange, with striated slashes of blue.

Feeding Ecology: Land animal that feeds on grass, shrubs, and various fungi. Hornlike jaw extension acts as plow for digging up roots, grubs, and other subsurface food.

Size: Average animal is 6 meters long, up to 4.5 meters in height. Weighs roughly 900 kilograms

The sturmbeest is one of the main sources of animal products for the Na'vi. As such, sturmbeest are a primary organizing force  in clan culture. A number of different clans extol the virtues of the animal in textiles, music, song, dance, and art.

Sturmbeest are herd animals. They are extremely social and highly protective of their young. They are also territorial and will mass for attack against any would-be predator. /when the predator is too large or in too great a number, they will stampeded, often breaking off into small packs for evasion.

The male is usually about 15 percent larger than the female, and has a bigger ridge bone on its back. The male also has a dramatic top horn that is used for defense and in mating contests against other bulls.

Their brain-mass-to-body-weight ratio is low, and the creatures are slow to react and slow to stop reacting. The young, old, and lame are prey only to the largest or fiercest predators, such as viperwolf packs, the thanator, and occasionally a large leonopteryx.

*Poor long distance vision. But hearing is acute and their sense of smell extends over long distances. They have been observed being startled by a predator more than 3 kilometers upwind.


Na'vi Name: Teylu

Habitat: moist, decomposing trees and vegetation

Anatomy: Grub, larval stage of Pandoran centipede-like insect. Opaque skin revealing skein of veins, cartilage.

Feeding Ecology: feeds on decayed vegetative matter, moss, smaller insects

Size: up to 8 centimeters, usually smaller

A main source of protein for the Na'vi, along with sturmbeest and hexapede. Similar to a jumbo shrimp, slightly sweet. Usually steamed, but Na'vi also cook them with vegetables over open fire on a stick, similar to Terran shish kebob.


The Tapirus is an pig like creature that lives on Pandora. On a planet with perfect predators the Tapirus fills the unfortunate role of perfect prey. It is the butt of many jokes of Hell's Gate personnel and shows up on the cafeteria menu.

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